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Front. Microbiol. | doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2018.00353

Darkness: A crucial factor in fungal Taxol production

  • 1University of Sharjah, United Arab Emirates
  • 2Department of Plant Agriculture, Crop Science Building, University of Guelph, Canada

Fungal Taxol acquired lots of attention in the last decades since it can be an easy method for manipulation and scaling up the production level of a valuable anticancer drug. Several researchers studied varieties of factors to enhance fungal Taxol production. However, up to date fungal Taxol production has never been enhanced to the commercial level. Thus it is assumed that optimization of fungal Taxol production could require clear understanding of the fungal habitat in its original host plant. One major sharing feature in the habitat of all fungal endophytes that they are located in the internal plant tissues where the dark is prominent; hence the effect of light on fungal Taxol production was tested. Incubation of Taxol-producing endophytic SSM001 fungus in light prior to inoculation for Taxol production showed dramatic loss of Taxol production, significant reduction in resin bodies and reduction in gene expression known to be involved in Taxol biosynthesis. The loss of Taxol production was accompanied with production of dark green pigments. Pigmentation is a fungal protection mechanism mediated by opsin receptor and induced by light. On the other hand, light induced the gene expression of opsin, a known photoreceptor involved in light perception and pigment production identified in SSM001 by genome sequencing. The results from this study indicated that the endophytic fungus SSM001 required the dark habitat of its host plant for Taxol production and hence behaved negative in response to light.

Keywords: Fungal taxol, Light, Opsin, Pigmentation, Expression

Received: 04 Dec 2017; Accepted: 14 Feb 2018.

Edited by:

Marie-Joelle VIROLLE, Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS), France

Reviewed by:

Philippe Normand, Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS), France
Marc Litaudon, UPR2301 Institut de Chimie des Substances Naturelles (ICSN CNRS), France  

Copyright: © 2018 Soliman and Raizada. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Dr. Sameh S. Soliman, University of Sharjah, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates, ssoliman@sharjah.ac.ae